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F1 2019: McLaren hope for progress in next F1 season

Sky Sports | Updated: 2018-12-27 10:00:54

McLaren chief Zak Brown is confident the team have put steps in place to avoid repeating past mistakes, as they target improved fortunes in 2019.

The Woking team finished sixth in this year's Constructors' Championship, three places up on 2017, but still fell short of their own targets in their first year with Renault power.

"We want to stay away from predictions, which is something which has got us into trouble in the past," said Brown, McLaren's chief executive, in Abu Dhabi as he looked ahead to next season.

"What I can say is this has been a very disappointing year and we're expecting and anticipating to move forward.

"You don't quite know what the competition is going to do, there's a decent amount of new development with the aero [rules] which hopefully gives us a chance and a bit of a reset because we need to get it right this time. So we're just hoping to be much more competitive."

Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle takes a look at what's to come in the 2019 F1 season

Brown added: "I'm confident the team is working hard together, well together, and we've made changes to understand and identify where we made mistakes and looking not to repeat those going in to next year."

It will be a new year in which McLaren field a completely new driver line-up for the first time since 2007 as Carlos Sainz arrives to partner British teenager Lando Norris, who was on the team's young-driver books for two years.

"I think everyone's excited to have two new drivers," said Brown. "There will be some excitement on the grid, how's our car, we've got two new drivers and some new partners on the car."

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McLaren scored the majority of their 2018 points in the season's first five races, despite a winter in which their new car completed the fewest laps of the field.

While reliability was nonetheless strong from Melbourne, Brown says McLaren's 2019 will be better served by completing more laps at Barcelona testing in February and March.

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Watch every race, qualifying and practice session live with Sky Sports F1 in 2019

"One of our problems this year was we had reliability issues from the word go so you didn't get the mileage in," he said.

"I was surprised we were as reliable as we were at the start of the year given the lack of reliability we had in testing, so we're doing some things differently in the off-season to try and be as reliable as possible so we can focus on performance come Barcelona testing."

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